This year we had two Aussie pastors besides Ps Ric Benson and myself; Kenn Kilah and Peter Constantine as well as one national leader from YWAM Armenia, brother Andrey. As always God knitted hearts and lives together to make us a blessing to all who came to the conference. They came from the four corners of Egypt, enthusiastic and eager to learn and to discern God’s best for them. In August we concluded another successful cross-denominational pastors and leaders conference, our seventh annual event. The theme this year, was, “He’s the God of the impossible” – Lk 1:37. By weeks end, there was a tangible presence and belief that God is more than enough regardless of the circumstances. Delegates constantly requested prayer for their personal needs, their churches and their nation. They wanted to be anointed and blessed to be used by God in a mighty way.
This year we had around 80 young energetic and enthusiastic Egyptian young men and women attend our “Leaders of Tomorrow Seminar.” Besides the formal times, much personal time was given to this new generation of hungry hearts wanting to make a difference for Jesus in their nation. To be able to invest your life in another is one of the greatest privileges that God can give, as you get to help release God’s design and shape in that person’s life, work and ministry. God is on the move across Egypt. Running concurrently to the main conference sessions, we run the “Marriage Builder Track.” During the week Ps Ric along with Ps Rezk (Ric’s marriage seminar interpreter), also provide counselling to a number of couples. This is our 5th year and we had 80 leader-couples thoroughly enjoying Ric’s practical and down-to-earth teaching and practical input. As always they come away from these times wanting much more.
Ric not only teaches principles, but empowers them for positive change. Ps Rezk and others are using his material in their local area. We also published, in Arabic, a manual of this year’s training. This year we helped them gain a deeper understanding of effective Christian leadership. The overall theme of the conference permeated every message getting them to focus their lives on the qualities God desires for an effective Christian leader. How they needed to submit unreservedly to God so He could bring to reality the “impossible” through them. God moved amongst this group.
Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 18:27 He replied, “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.” What man cannot do God can do. Each of the 10 conferences messages was built around this theme. With life style application, personal prayer & ministry, participants left Saturday afternoon having met with the Lord during the week. God is Good. Conferences gatherings are always great times of praise, worship and prayer. Our brothers & sisters love to worship and praise the Lord every chance they can when they come together. Worship can sometimes go on for an hour or so before each session. Late into the evenings you can hear them praising and praying. God moves in response to such praying and worship!
Mighty in faith and with boundless love our dear friends and partners in the work push on undeterred in the face of great difficulty not fearing but trusting the “God of the impossible.” Amazing people! The Centre can now accommodate 800 people, including a large auditorium. It truly is an amazing place of peace & hospitality located in the Western desert. They need help to purchase a new Generator and a big ceiling fan; can anyone help by giving financially to this project? Please contact us if you can. As we approach these annual teaching missions in Egypt, we are aware that the kind of training we bring, must take into account a number of things; let me explain.
Our conference participants come under regular religious opposition and persecution. They often lack the material wealth and financial resources to just do the things we, in our Western society, take for granted. Many have low self-esteem issues, inadequate training and don’t have a support team to assist them in ministry. In this kind of environment in the Middle East, every little difficulty is accentuated a hundredfold, so as speakers we need to always strive to speak humbly from knowledge, personal experience and character, seeking to use relevant stories and illustrations that will minister powerfully to the needs of our hearers. That’s not always easy when everything you say must be interpreter into another language and culture. However we are blessed to have a great interpreter. All those who have travelled with me these past seven years, have sort to be honest, transparent and open in telling of both their successes and failures. Egyptians see this as ‘being real.’
We have been given this God-given opportunity to encourage and lift the vision of our Egyptian brothers and sisters at this time. They are the ones commissioned to advance Christ’s kingdom in what can only be classified as a hostile environment. On the final night of the Conference, the team prayed for all the delegates. A real bond of Christian fellowship and joy was experienced, with many expressing personal appreciation that Christian leaders would come from the other side of the world, like Australia, and at their own expense, to teach, pray and encourage them amidst the often dangerous and uncertain climate that is Egypt. The team felt that our sacrifice was minuscule compared to the sacrifices many of the delegates had made to attend the conference, and even more, the bravery they exercise every day as they live for Christ in the midst of threats, direct persecution and violence.
What an awesome privilege it is to be God’s gift of encouragement to these beautiful people. It was again great to have our dear friend and gifted main translator, Sameh assisting us once-again for the whole week; he’s such a delight to work with … a real gift from God to us. The conference concluded with a special prayer and commissioning time for all delegates – as they departed they said… ‘we shall return next year – God willing.’ A very big thank you to all who financially support our work in Egypt. Please continue your sponsorship by helping one or more Egyptian pastors / leaders attend: it costs just $50 per head.
Bank Details are:
Account: CityHarvest International Account Number 045-303-109
Bank BSB/sort code – 484-799 – Suncorp Ltd;
Bank SWIFT code – METWAU4B.